Independently of each other, we caught up with Gary Brown and Lisa O'Leary to find out more about the National Leadership Network and the plans for the months ahead. Their answers make for very interesting reading! 

Describe The National Leadership Network in one sentence.

GB: With people with care experience front and centre the National Leadership Network aims to support personal and professional development in all aspects of leadership.

LO: The NLN aims to support young people with care experience, their partners and allies gain leadership experiences and opportunities in various shapes and forms across Scotland.

If the NLN was an animal what would it be and why?

GB: A wise owl. Hopefully the NLN evolves and grows through the influence of many. Ideally it will be a wise owl through the wise things people input individually and collectively. The NLN doesn’t feel like an ‘in your face’ project so an owl seems quietly and confidently appropriate.

 LO: A chameleon, as it will shift and change as work progresses. It will not blend into the background however but will encourage others to see things differently and change their ‘colours’ to join us.

What role does Staf play in the NLN? 

GB: Staf is the lead host in the NLN. They are part of a collective of hosts with CYCJ, Columba 1400, Resilience Learning Partnership and Who Cares. Staf has some extra commitments as the lead hosts including holding the project budget and NLN staff support.

LO: Staf – are the lead host within the NLN. They look after the NLN staff team and will lead on co-production, voice and influencing policy

Columba1400 – will deliver leadership opportunities to YP, their supporters and allies

CYCJ – will lead on rights respecting justice and engagement with seldom heard voices and equality

Resilience Learning Partnership - will lead on trauma informed practice and training

Who Cares? Scotland – will lead on participation, engagement and activism connecting yp, partners and allies across Scotland.

Why should young people with care experience get involved?

GB: People should get involved as they can shape and influence the NLN as it grows. They can get involved to access different opportunities and experiences that will come up over the next 5 years. 

LO: The NLN aspires to be solely led and directed by the voice of individuals with care experience. This approach ensures that the NLN meets the needs of individuals it is designed to support in an effective, meaningful and trauma informed way.

What’s coming up next at the NLN? 

GB: We are planning a bit of roadshow through Scotland where we want to speak to people about leadership, what is going on in their areas and what the NLN can do. We are also keen to speak to people individually too and/or as part of groups, projects, etc. We are also planning to put together a Steering Group (or similar) which will involve some paid hours for those involved.

LO: There are various ways for individuals to influence the work of the NLN such as via the roadshows or as part of our steering group 

If you could describe the NLN in one word what would it be?

GB: Ambitious.

LO: Radical, innovative, progressive, inclusive (that's cheating Lisa, but we'll let you away with it!)

How do people find out more about the NLN?

Please contact: [email protected] / [email protected] / [email protected] and we are on Twitter @ypceleadership

Thank you Gary and Lisa!